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22/1/2018 Rise of Yarraman Park sires a lesson for breeders

  Few studs standing only a couple of sires have boomed to the extent of Yarraman Park, the highly respected complex ten minutes drive west of Scone in the Hunter Valley conducted by the brothers Arthur and Harry Mitchell and showcased at the sales and races at the Gold Coast this month.

   In making their impact, these sires, the Australian products I Am Invincible (by briefly shuttled Invincible Spirit) and Hinchinbrook (by Danehill champion racehorse and sire Fastnet Rock) have demonstrated again to breeders that you do not have to be a superstar racehorse or start off on a fancy fee to be a first class sire.   

  Neither of them won a Group1 race, but both placed at this level.The first of them to go to stud, I Am Invincible (13 starts 1000m-1200m, 5 wins headed by the Group 3 DC McKay Stakes at Morphettville), finished second to Takeover Target in the Goodwood at Morphetteville at his only Group1 appearance, but three years younger Hinchinbrook (14 starts for 2 wins at Randwick, the Group 3 Skyline and Listed Canonbury) showed up well in five Group1s, the All Aged Stakes (2nd), Sires’ Produce Stakes (3rd) and Golden Slipper (4th) in Sydney and the William Reid (3rd) and Oakleigh Plate (3rd) in Melbourne.  

  Put into work over a book of 133 as a sire on a fee of $10,000 (plus GST) at Yarraman Park in 2010, the 16.2hh bay I Am Invincible, like his Irish National National Stud based Green Desert sire Invincible Spirit, quickly established a reputation as a source of precocious quality performers. Well clear of his contemporaries, he led the national first season sire statistics by starters, money, winners and stakes winners.

  He went on to be the leading two crop sire numerically 2014-15 (second to Medaglia d’Oro by money), the most successful third crop sire 2015-16 by earnings and climb up to fourth place on the national sires’ list for 2016-17, supplying 145 winners (11 SWs, 29 2yos) and earners of $12,194,618.

   In the current racing year, 2017-18, I Am Invincible at mid January was in third place nationally by money and second by winners, stakes winners and wins.

   Since his first crop, 69 winners (6 SWs,), 7 placed, 3 unplaced, raced he has been represented by 358 starters, 263 winners (73.5%) and $36,593,302. Beside Australia, he has had winners in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and South Africa.

   Rarely a day goes by without one or more I Am Invincibles visiting the winners stalls. Saturday, January 13, was no exception, representatives including Gold Coast runners Viddora (5yo mare, dam by the Zabeel – Eight Carat sire Colombia), dominant winner of the million dollar Magic Millions Snippets (1200m), and the 4yo mares Invincibella (Galileo) and Eckstein (Choisir), the quinella in the million dollar Magic Millions Fillies & Mares, separated by a head.

   I Am Invincible’s success has seen such big demand for his services that his fee was lifted to $25,000 for 2014 (211 mares), to $50,000 in 2015 (198) and 2016 (213) and $100,000 2017 (nearly 200). After 2018 foalings he should have over one thousand foals on the ground.

  The success has also made I Am Invincible hugely popular with yearling buyers, so much so he supplied the two highest priced lots at this month’s Magic Millions Gold Coast sale, colts at $2million and $1.9million and for the premier section, Book 1 (853 lots), led the sires’ list by most sold, 37, and gross, $17,710,000 and finished second on average, $478,649, headed narrowly by Snitzel, the Arrowfield champion sire who had 33 lots sell for $15,965,000 and an average of $483,788.

  On top of this, Yarraman Park was the leading vendor by average (3 or more sold), $427,143 and second to Arrowfield’s champion Redoute’s Choice sire Snitzel (46 lots, $13,680,000) by gross with 21 sold for $8,970,000. All their 12 Book 1 I Am Invincible yearlings found homes and only one, $110,000, was under $200,000.

  Their draft also included three by Hinchinbrook and they sold at $450,000, $160,000 and $140,000. Other vendors sold his offspring at $290,000, $240,000, $170,000 and $160,000.

   Hinchinbrook has not reached the heights of I Am Invincible, but is emerging as a very competent sire.  Following January 13 racing, one in which the Gerald Ryan trained 3-year-old filly Problem Solver won the $250,000 Magic Millions Plate (her fourth start and following three seconds), the opening event at the Gold Coast, his 2017-18 statistics read 64 winners of 86 races and $2,740,384. His 48.9% strike rate is the highest among the 150 leading sire.

   Hinchinbrook was Australia’s leading first season sire for 2014-15 on earnings, the leading two crop sire 2015-16 and second leading third crop sire 2016-17. So far he has supplied 132 winners of 288 races and included among his runners 23 who have won or placed in stakes races.

   One of the first crop, Press Statement, won two Group1 races, the Caulfield Guineas and BRC JJ Atkins Stakes, finished second in the Randwick Guineas and looked after 135 mares at Vinery, Scone when put to stud in 2016.

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